The City of Temple Terrace is serious about encouraging motorists to stop at red lights.
The community has five cameras to photograph and cite those who run red traffic signals. In 2008, the city installed cameras westbound on Bullard Parkway at 56th Street and southbound on 56th Street at Fowler Avenue. Last year, .
Now, Temple Terrace is joining communities across the country in support of National Stop on Red Week, according to a city press release. From Aug. 5-11, the will step up enforcement during the campaign to ensure the community’s busy roadways remain safe.
Sponsored by the National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running, the week is dedicated to reducing red-light running in the United States and the fatalities and injuries it causes, the release states. The national campaign aims to better inform the public and their elected officials about the seriousness of running red lights, as well as the law enforcement practices and tools that can make roadways safer.
In 2010, 667 people were killed and more than 100,000 injured as a result of crashes involving red-light running, according to the Insurance Coalition for Safer Roads, the release states.
“The traffic camera safety program is intended to protect motorists, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians from crashes caused by red-light runners,” the release states.
“Since Temple Terrace installed its first traffic-safety cameras in 2008, the number of red-light violations has decreased by 67 percent, according to the Temple Terrace Police Department.”
The City of Temple Terrace is one of more than 70 communities in Florida and 500 nationwide that use the hotly contested cameras to enhance highway safety.
Temple Terrace’s red-light traffic camera program is administered by American Traffic Solutions Inc. Each violation is reviewed and approved by the Temple Terrace Police Department before the registered owner of the vehicle is issued a citation. The fine for a first offense is $158.
However, some motorists say they think that red-light cameras are an abuse of local and state governments’ power. A website called Ban the Cams is a self-described grassroots organization that aims to “restore freedom and sanity to our roadways.” They had a protest at the intersection of Bullard Parkway and 56th Street in 2010.
Temple Terrace Patch readers commenting on previous red-light camera stories represent both sides of the issue.
“I definitely am in favor of keeping the cameras,” said reader . “Those opposed are most likely the ones that fear getting ticketed because they are the offenders of red-light running.”
Another reader disagreed.
“Of course stopping at red lights is a good thing,” said , “but I would rather help drivers(and safety) by lengthening the yellow light time and truly making intersections safer, instead of punishing normally safe driver for technical fouls like rolling over the stop line before coming to a complete stop, or making a right turn on red, and making everyone paranoid about running afoul of the eyes in the sky.”